Russian singer Vitas returns to Shanghai

2008-01-30 18:13:13 xinhuanet

BEIJING, Jan. 31 -- Many Chinese are familiar with traditional Russian songs but few are even aware of the modern Russian pop scene. The Russian female duet TATU was popular for a while with their electronic music but once they split, Russian music disappeared for most Chinese radars. Then the mysterious singer Vitas arrived.

The 27-year-old star toured China last summer, attracting thousands of enthusiastic fans. In Shanghai, the concert tickets had an average price of 1,200 yuan (166.83 U.S.dollars) and sold out fully a month before the performance.

Unfortunately, his manager and spokesman Sergey Pudovkin said after the performance that it would not be possible for Vitas to return to China for at least four years due to his packed schedule.

Luckily, the charming singer has returned only half a year later.

Perhaps it was to experience the unexpected passion of his Chinese fans once more.

He has performed in Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and will sing in Shanghai this weekend at the Shanghai Grand Stage.

This time, the most expensive tickets are 2,800 yuan while some fans and ticket scalpers online have already been able to sell their 1,000 yuan tickets for 3,000 yuan.

Debuting in Russia in 2000, he soon rose to stardom with his unbelievable voice, metro-sexual appearance, and his mysterious private life.

Vitas' manager and producer Pudovkin suggests the singer will not accept any interviews to protect him from the media and to force the media to focus on his music. Hence, the public knows very little about the singer's real name, origin, how he learned to sing, whether he is married, etc.

Pudovkin leaks out little snippets of information about the star every once in a while - he does not smoke and he practices for five to six hours each day.

Although very little is known about Vitas, his fans are crazy about him, for his miraculous voice he is gifted with, the wicked smile he carries, the glorious costumes he designs for his concerts, and even the shining lip stick he uses.

Some fans even call him ET to explain his incredible voice.

Moreover, Vitas has performed in TV series, music dramas, and designed his own fashion show of women's clothes. Although most of the hit songs are opera-like, Vitas has explored many musical genres including metal, rap and traditional songs.

Unexpectedly, the Russian star became popular in China through the Internet at the end of 2004 when the music video for his hit song "Opera No. 2" swept many video playing sites.

Now his Chinese fan site has more than 20,000 registered members.

The concert last summer attracted more new fans but it also aroused suspicions about his singing. Many wondered if he did actually sing live.

In answer Vitas has since sung without microphone to the amazement of previously skeptical fans.

Date: 7:30 p.m., February 2

Address: Shanghai Grand Stage, 1111 Caoxi Road N.

Tickets: 200-2,800 yuan

(Source: Shanghai Daily)